How to Use the Excel Find Function in VBA

When working with data in Excel, there are many occasions when you might need to find specific information within a spreadsheet. Excel’s built-in Find function is great for this, but when you need to automate this process, using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) can deliver a powerful solution. Below is a tutorial on how to utilize the Excel Find function within VBA to search for data within your worksheets.

Understanding the Find Method

The Find method in Excel VBA is part of the Range object and is used to search for a specific value within a range of cells.

This method has several parameters you can set to specify how the search should be performed, such as what to look for (the Find text), where to start the search (After), and whether the search should be case-sensitive (MatchCase).



Declaring Variables

Before you can use the Find function, it’s a good practice to declare variables that will hold the range where the search will be performed and the result of the Find method.

Setting the Range to Search

Identify the range where you want to perform the search. This could be a specific set of cells, a column, a row, or an entire worksheet.

Using the Find Method

Once the search range is specified, you can use the Find method. The basic syntax is:

Keep in mind the following commonly used optional arguments for the Find method:

  • What: The data you want to search for.
  • After: The cell after which you want to begin searching.
  • LookIn: Can be xlFormulas, xlValues (default), or xlComments.
  • LookAt: Can be xlWhole or xlPart.
  • SearchOrder: Can be xlByRows or xlByColumns.
  • SearchDirection: Can be xlNext (default) or xlPrevious.
  • MatchCase: True or False, depending on case sensitivity.

Handling the Result

After you have performed the search, it’s important to handle the result properly. If the search term is found, the Find method will return a Range object representing the cell. If the term is not found, it will return Nothing.

Putting It All Together

Combining all the above steps, here is an example of a VBA subroutine that searches for the term “Excel” in the first column of the first worksheet.

Familiarize yourself with other parameters you can pass to the .Find method by consulting the official documentation.


Running the above macro with this data will cause a message box to appear saying:


By understanding and effectively using the Excel Find function in VBA, you can automate the task of searching spreadsheets for specific data, enhancing both efficiency and capability in your Excel tasks. This can be particularly useful for large datasets, repetitive tasks, or complex data processing requirements. Remember to tailor the search criteria and range to suit your data and desired outcomes.

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.

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